October 2018 Minutes


General Meeting – 16th October 2018 at Heathfield Community School, Monkton Heathfield, Taunton.                                                                                                     

1 Apologies for Absence: Puck, Mick, Barrie, Claire, Sue, Neil, Sarah, Fiona

Present: Vicki Nash, Julie Vine, Lorraine Lateu, Ro Hurrell, Ian Aldridge (Treasurer), Susannah Billeter (Devon), Robin Head, Patricia Kennedy

2 Minutes of the meeting held in September signed as correct

3 Additional items for the agenda – nothing to add to the agenda

4 Priority items:  

a) Pay campaign- a pay campaign has started but the difficult issue is getting above 50% of the vote to call members to action. The government has been warned about the recommendation of the SRB. Headteachers are supporting the unions on this as the budgets are set and then the government has decided on pay rises and schools have short falls now to pay what the government has offered teachers in the United Kingdom. Somerset Head Teachers went to London to march towards Parliament and the Somerset Heads lead the march. Damien Hinds pay allowance should be a minimum.                                 

 b) Funding campaign – As above. Head Teachers have been onboard with this since March 2018. Predictions we put forward were less than what the reality is which is even worse than warned and as a consequence Schools are lacking the required funding.                                

 c) Workload Toolkit update – The Workload Toolkit has not been seen in Somerset School’s and Robin is raising it at the Joint County Negotiating and Committee.                                 

d) Susannah Billeter – Disability Matters – A meeting with our disable members in the County. Susannah is going to the Disability Conference on 20th October 2018. Discussion about possible venues with disability needs and also an opportunity to have a social gathering with the members. Date – 12th March 2018.    Susannah Billeter will apply for the grant to National NEU to cover the costs for this event. Further decision will continue at the next Meeting. Michelle Rees will send email addresses to Susannah                               

5    Matters arising:

a)Future of the Somerset NEU District & AGM details - A meeting with ATL was attended by Vicki and Robin. A joint AGM by both unions includes new rules  and a two month notice of the AGM. Also to hold a meeting twenty members need to be present to make it Corot. Looking at the personnel a strong team of officers will be coming in. Robin will investigate whether members can attend via video conferencing when they can not attend physically. Some ATL members have attended but very few in number. You can’t go to conference if members are retired. AGM is Tuesday May 7th 2019.

b) National Conference – Ten rooms available for the Conference in Liverpool (14th -18th April 2019) Members will have to travel on Sunday in order to attend conference. In 2020 the conference will be in Bournemouth. As part of the conference package some flexibility of attendance is acceptable.

c) Website – Website needs to be updated and will become the NEU website in January 2019. Images will be updated in November; Robin Head will take images at the November general meeting. Discussion about how and when it will be updated was had by members of the committee. Also it was discussed about how we can inform the members more about the value of the Somerset NEU website.

6: Reports           

a)    Divisional Secretaries/National Executive – Vicki and Robin discussed attendance to the Divisional Secretaries meeting in Manchester in October 2018. Concerns about the Divisional Secretaries meetings. Concerns about the amount of additional work being given to Divisional Secretaries as well as treasurer. Workload is a real issue with regard to both Divisional Secretaries as they have more and more cases to deal with. Workload of case workers needs to be carefully monitored carefully as it is crucial that all of these members need to have a work life balance. Does the union have its own Workload Tool kit.

 The union needs to consider the emotional wellbeing of the Divisional Secretaries. Should the Union at National level support staff within the facilities time. Robin went to TUC issues about austerity. Been to executive about the pay ballot and Robin went to new vision for education and they are trying to feed into Labour Party Policy. Robin has asked the Somerset County Council about the funding of the new schools required for the future. (900 students are currently not in schools within the County at the moment and this is a major issue that needs to be addressed) 

b) Treasurer The accounts are healthy.

c) Area Secretaries -

d) Health and Safety   - Roland and Rachel attended the NQT meeting at Taunton Racecourse and lots of positive feedback from the NQT’s Case work has been ongoing. No Health and Safety updates this month.

7 Discussion items

a) Xmas meal – Halfway House Pitney. The menu will be circulated by Barrie and the meeting will take place on 4th December 2018. Tables will rotate at the end of each course.

 b) Trades Council fees. Vicki has attended many different Trades Council’s and Robin has put himself forward. Robin believes that we should pay the fees 10 pence per member from January 2019. Robin and Vicki seconded the members were all in favour of this.

8 Correspondence: -        Patricia and Mick are going to the Retired members conference in Weston Super Mare.

9 AOB    a) Sexism in Schools – a meeting has been had in Frome and once it has been delivered in one school then is can be rolled out into other schools in the county. Next meeting is going to be on 13th November 2018 at the Merry Monk at 6.15pm.

Posted by Robin Head on November 7th 2018

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